2012 was a damn good year for music in general, and for new musical discoveries, personally. I found my own tastes wandering between the seemingly-unrelated-yet-actually-interconnected worlds of hardcore punk, deathrock, postpunk, and neofolk. My “top 10” for 2012 reflects this.
Cult of Youth’s Love Will Prevail was the band’s best release yet, a real game changer for both the punk and neofolk scenes (and where the twain meet.) Ex-members of the Born Dead Icons and The Complications made an impressive showing with the gothy punk band Dekoder (Between the Waking and the Dying,) while Lost Tribe, Blue Cross, and Arctic Flowers weighed in with their own take on the goth-punk genre.
The original lineup of Killing Joke made an LP, MMXII, that I at first damned with faint praise — but, as expected, the LP has grown on me. Wreathes and Rome round out my favorite neofolk releases of the year.
So, in no particular order, my favorite ten releases of 2012 were:
1. CULT OF YOUTH – Love Will Prevail LP (punky neofolk)
2. WOLFBRIGADE – The Damned LP (d-beat hardcore; neo-crust)
3. LOST TRIBE – self-titled cassette (goth-punk; g-beat)
4. TRAGEDY – Darker Days Ahead LP (hardcore punk; neo-crust)
5. KILLING JOKE – MMXII LP (dark postpunk)
6. ROME – Hell Money LP (neofolk)
7. ARCTIC FLOWERS – Procession EP (deathrock-ish peace punk)
8. BLUE CROSS – I Am Death LP (deathrock)
9. WREATHES – self-titled LP (neofolk)
10. DEKODER – Between the Waking and the Dying LP (goth-punk; postpunk)
BLOODY GEARS – Landscapes of Disease (dark punk)
MERCHANDISE – Children of Desire LP (postpunk/noise rock)
POISON IDEA – Darby Crash Rides Again (hardcore punk reissue)
KINIT HERR – Storms of Radiance (post-industrial neofolk)